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It's Race Week!

If you race infrequently, like I do, every race becomes your "A" race. Marathons I've usually done just 2-3 races per year trying to be mindful of budget and stress. You folks who race every weekend during the summer or have plans for travel all over the country amaze me. That's a full schedule! Considering kids or work or having a life outside of our sport.

This year, I've limited myself to this one "warmup," "test" race. I thought about running the Chicago Marathon then decided if I wasn't going to completely dedicate myself to doing my best...why run it? Instead I've chosen to enjoy this summer with my family knowing that next year I plan on doing Ironman in September. Which means a grueling summer of training next season. And probably not much else on my race calendar because of that.

So Race Week always feels a little exciting to me. A combination of nerves and getting ready...trying to decide how I feel in relation to peak. Am I tired? Getting sick? And triathlon has that added element of ankle straps for your timing chip, swim cap, figuring out which swim wave you're in. So, this week, in addition to the usual carb loading, there is extra gear to pack, and I still have to lay out my stuff and practice transitioning from swim to bike and bike to run.

But, really, that's the stuff that is nagging me. As far as actually swimming, biking, running, I'm less nervous. I plan on having fun. The anxiety is more related to finding my spot on the bike racks, finding the way from the swim exit to transition, etc. etc. The unknowns. Nothing to fear but fear itself, right? As a first-timer, it's the first-timer stuff that is making me nervous.

Tomorrow is the Chicagoland packet pickup and I'm pretty ready to go. Trying hard to visualize it as step one on a long journey to me crossing the Finish before midnight in Madison in 2014. Can't wait to see my fellow triathletes out there on the course...fancy kits, shiny bikes, helmets that cost more than everything I'm bringing to the race. I hope I beat some of you. Ha!